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What is a birth doula

A birth doula supports a woman or couple through pregnancy and labour.

Her role is very much focused on emotional and practical support. She is not there to advise on medical questions. Her role is NEVER to replace a midwife but to work positively alongside all medical professionals.

She will be sensitive to the couple's relationship and will discuss with them how she can best support them ensuring not to exclude the woman's partner.



Most birth doulas offer a package of at least 2 antenatal visits, as many calls/e-mails as necessary, the labour (for as long as needed) and 1 or 2 visits after the birth. For this she will charge a package fee. A doula is self-employed and her fee will reflect the services she offers, the experience she brings to her role and geographical location. It may be a good idea to ask several doulas what they charge if you are unsure. Usually you can expect to pay anything from 150 to £800 for a birth package.

Some birth doulas have extra skills and may charge a higher fee if their services include such extra skills.

If you would like more postnatal support, you may need to have a postnatal doula. She may be the same doula or another.

NB: Most birth doulas are mothers themselves. However there is an increasing amount of alternative therapists who are not (or not yet) mothers who offer doula support. It is key that you pick a doula that you feel a good relationship with.



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